Emotional Abandonment: Shut out by your spouse

Written by Dr. Dave Currie and Glen Hoos

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It’s a complaint I hear regularly from people looking for help for their marriages:“I feel distant from my spouse.” “I try to get my husband to open up, but instead he just shuts down.” “My wife just doesn’t seem interested in me anymore. I feel like we’re a million miles apart.” “I don’t know if I love him anymore.”

What we’re talking about here is emotional abandonment. Instead of physically leaving the relationship, your spouse simply checks out emotionally. They stop investing in the marriage, leaving their mate feeling detached and unwanted. To the outside world the situation can still look rosy, but in reality the relationship is dying a slow, quiet death.

How does a marriage reach this point? Sometimes it’s a slow slide into complacency, and other times it’s a little more sudden. Realize that if it’s a sudden abandonment, there likely is some precipitating event or incident between the two of you that needs to be resolved. On the other hand, if the deterioration has been more gradual, there are probably a lot of little things that have gone unresolved and are taking their toll on the relationship.

Here are some of the specific, primary causes of emotional distance between mates:

  1. Unforgiveness. Emotional abandonment is unforgiveness taken to its extreme conclusion. When we feel that our spouse has hurt us and we refuse to forgive them, we look for ways to protect ourselves from being hurt again in the future. Closing off our heart from the other person is an easy way to do this, but it has deadly consequences. Unforgiveness always leads to isolation. Overcoming unforgiveness requires a willingness to humble ourselves and seek forgiveness when we have hurt our spouse, and it also requires that we be willing to graciously extend forgiveness when our spouse has hurt us. This forgiveness step is based on a desire to re-unite.
  2. Callous treatment. When I am careless in how I treat my spouse, it gets old really quickly. Whether it’s discourteousness, unkindness, or something worse, it creates hurt that may start out small, but can grow into deep wounds as it festers over time. To avoid this, each partner needs to look at their own behaviour regularly and consider whether they are treating their spouse well. A mate, above all people, needs to be treated with gentleness and respect. Remember, your spouse is a gift to you, and they deserve to be treated as something precious.
  3. Lack of effort. Sometimes the problem is a little less obvious than unforgiveness or harsh treatment. It is easy, especially for men, to just assume that the relationship is going along just fine, and so we don’t put in as much effort as we once did. We start to take our spouse for granted, leading them to think that they are not important in our lives. When the marriage slips from being one of the top priorities in the heart of one or both spouses, the other person feels abandoned. This causes them to feel unwanted and then to withdraw into their own world.
  4. Lack of time. Many of us simply try to pack too much into a day. Ruled by the urgent, we fail to make time for the truly important: things like romancing, talking about issues and really developing a friendship with our spouse. We stay constantly busy, erasing quality “couple times” from our schedules. A marriage relationship cannot thrive if our contact with one another is limited to a quick bite of supper or a brief chat before bed. A good marriage requires weekly face-to-face time – both talk and fun.
  5. Fear of talking through issues. Emotional detachment does not just happen out of the blue; there is always something behind it. If one or both of the spouses has an inability or fear of talking through the issues in their relationship, then this kind of disconnect will be the likely result. Usually both know there is something wrong, but they are hesitant to bring it up because they fear their spouse’s reaction. Or perhaps they feel like they’ve been through this before and it hasn’t helped, so why bother? In these cases, there needs to be a clear second look at what it means to resolve conflict in a marriage – how to have a “good fight,” as it were, that really bring things to resolution. Without these skills, and a real courage to step up and deal with problems, the emotional distance will just continue to grow.
  6. Living in denial. A lot of times, when things have started to go a bit sideways in the relationship, we don’t want to admit that it’s happening. Often the person truly needing to make some significant changes is most content to deny the existence of any real issues. We kind of live in denial, as if it’s not really happening, or it’s not that bad, or things will get better in time. But living in denial doesn’t fix things; it only causes the marriage to deteriorate to the point where the couple just does not feel close anymore.

Working through emotional distance

The first step to dealing with emotional abandonment is to identify the root cause and to begin to deal with it. Don’t settle for living in isolation. Ask God for more in your marriage and then trust Him as you faithfully try to make changes. Here are some suggestions for re-establishing a loving connection with your spouse:

  1. Agree to talk. At some point you have to agree to talk about the problems that exist between you. If you’re going to resolve issues, there needs to be a mutual commitment to listen to the other person’s concerns and to work towards improving the situation. Don’t corner your spouse with an unexpected lecture, but set a time and agree to start to work through your issues.
  2. Be prepared. Before you have the talk, take the time separately to think through the unresolved issues that you’ll be discussing. What are your concerns in the relationship? In what areas do you feel you need to improve? What are your expectations of your spouse? To put your thoughts down on paper may be best, but either way, be prepared to be open and honest with each other about the real issues between you. Be sure to take the time to really listen to what your spouse is saying. Give each other uninterrupted time to share your view on things.
  3. Be direct but gentle. Neither of you has anything to gain by holding back your true feelings. Remember: unresolved issues lie at the heart of emotional detachment. So lay all your cards out on the table by sharing your hurts clearly. Don’t allow things to get out of hand. Be committed to talk through things sensibly. Take breaks to cool it if necessary but agree to continue. Ask each other the tough questions, and talk through the difficult issues that have been eating away at your relationship. Regardless of which partner initiated the wrong, you both need to work at resolving the problem.
  4. Begin to meet unmet needs. Often a person pulls back from the relationship because, in their mind, their needs are not being met. A healthy marriage demands that both partners actively work to discern the needs of their spouse, and work to meet those needs. Seek to understand your spouse’s needs and ask yourself how you can start to better express love by meeting these needs. Make your spouse and sorting things out your new priority.
  5. Deal with your own stuff. If I am feeling abandoned by my spouse, I need to ask myself a tough question: What have I done to drive my spouse away? Now it may not be only your responsibility. Nevertheless, you have to find out what you are responsible for and take ownership for your actions. Really listen to your spouse. Of course, there are things that your mate needs to deal with, and they may be withdrawing from you for selfish reasons, but that can’t stop you from taking the steps that you know you need to take. Both parties must be prepared to make apologies and extend forgiveness as part of your recovery from the emotional detachment.
  6. Intentionally re-engage. If you are to re-establish your emotional connection, it won’t happen by accident and it won’t happen overnight. You need to agree to make your relationship a priority and spend some quality time together. Plan a few dates and put each other in your schedules. It’s time to re-enter one another’s lives again.
  7. Act kindly. This may not be a revolutionary new idea, but it can have that kind of an effect on your marriage. You must act kindly toward your spouse. Small gestures of warmth, acts of kindness, and efforts to rekindle the romance between you will go a long way toward renewing your bond with one another. Do this from the heart with real commitment to make the necessary changes.
  8. Love unconditionally. Somebody has to break out of the negative cycle of eye-for an eye, poor treatment for poor treatment. You need to step out of the insult-for-insult cycle and respond differently. You cannot control your spouse’s behaviour, but you can control your own. Regardless of how your spouse responds, you must choose to treat them with love. This is not easy to do when your partner is not reciprocating, but it is what you vowed to do when you promised to love each other “for better or for worse.” And nothing breaks down emotional barriers like unconditional love.
  9. Allow God to work. I’m going to challenge you to ask God to change you. God wants your best and He’ll always be ready to take full responsibility for any life that is totally surrendered to Him. That also includes re-engaging with your spouse and getting attached in love again. God wants that and He will guide you in that, if you’ll allow Him to.

We’ve all got issues to work through in our relationships. Whether your problems stem from bitterness, unforgiveness, dishonesty, lack of kindness, unfaithfulness, or something else, God offers you His power to enable you to live in a way that honors Him. There’s no doubt in my mind that God wants your marriage to work and that you desire to have warmth and a close connection with your spouse. That’s His design. Let’s go after it.

Elma felt completely alone in her marriage. Read how she survived.

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269 Responses to “Emotional Abandonment: Shut out by your spouse”

  • Elkay says:

    Callie, you are clearly in a difficult marriage and we have not heard your husband’s story but I’ll bet it makes the situation even more taxing. I am very sorry for both of you but there is always hope.

    Marriage is God’s greatest idea. He takes a man and a woman two completely incompatible beings puts them together forever, everyday in the same house for the rest of their lives and says make this thing work. This can only be successful if both of you are committed to one another, no matter what, and from that commitment, unselfish love flows to and from each other as each one receives God’s love for them.

    It’s God’s gift of growing us up, where we learn to forgive as Christ forgave us, to be patient, kind and humble, making allowances for faults. Those are the commitments and practices of marriage that are like a treasure chest which form the protective casing around your love.

    Romance and emotion are the normal driving force that we first experience , the engine of the train, but over time, that engine will tend to go to the back of the train and become the caboose where the passions of love will be driven by a new engine and that new engine is commitment. Commitment to God, commitment to each other, and commitment to the commitment.

    The OT Book of Ruth speaks of an indissoluble commitment, Ruth says “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Ruth 1:16 (NLT) And as an illustration of a Godly commitment, Hosea was told to be completely faithful to a woman who abandoned him over and over.

    The New Testament tells us how to live out that kind of commitment . . . “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.” Colossians 3:12-15 (NLT)

    Callie, as you go forward, make prayer a keystone . . . praying “Majestic and Heavenly Father, You placed the stars in the heavens and laid the foundation of this earth; nothing is impossible for You and so we come to Your throne of grace to find mercy and help in our times of trouble. You created marriage as a sacred institution so that man and woman could bind together, become one in Your eyes, reflect Your image and worship You. Please help Callie and her husband know that marriage is a decision to be committed to one another no matter what, and from that commitment, may unselfish love again flow between them as they receive Your love for them. May they minimize each other’s weaknesses, praise and magnify each other’s points of beauty and strength, and again see each other through a lover’s kind and patient eyes. We ask for this in the powerful name of Jesus. Amen.

  • Mitchell Lesley says:

    I have tried to talk to my wife, but the more I try to communicate, the angrier and more distant she becomes..She tells me that the more I push to communicate the further she will be drawn away from me…I am devastated. …She will not kiss me unless she wants to kiss me. If I try to be affectionate and she is not in the mood she becomes angry and hostile.

  • Callie says:

    Dino: The first incident occurred three days after his return home from thee and a half years of underwater duty and seeing to the needs of the navy, He came back under his UAW contract with almost nine years seniority, more than 60 percent of the 7200 person work force, This gave him rights in the plant to, shift and job preference, vacation slot preference, the right to choose the holidays and weekends he wanted to work under the contract.
    In the area we lived however it was very conservative, It was felt that social and political position trumped a contract. My husband never agreed. when he came back from the navy I could see he was tired. Had not had a real day off since before we married he got out with 60 days leave on the books and had lost 60 days due to the needs of the navy. His father had him up and going back to work before he was even able to see me, I wanted to go to him but everyone felt that would just let him do as he pleased in the society, It was only two days before he wanted off second shift. He was going to bump the daughter of an area manager with just 6 months seniority on to seconds off days. She was a very pretty blond with a large social life. Putting her on second shift would have shot her social life to pieces.
    So I told and made it a promise if he could just stay where he was for two years I would normalize our marital bed. Not ever say a word about what he wanted in seniority rights after the two years. Two years to the day in 1987 his father is again screaming at me about getting my husband to drop his vacation slot for this girl to go to Rome in our group, She wanted to go with her fiance’ and her parents. I went to my husband hat in hand, Begged him to just not push the vacation this time we would go someplace else some time after my return but pleas keep the peace two years before I had seen my husbands anger the second day he was back, his mother was yelling for me to come into the living room to help calm my husband, he had his father straight arm pined to the ceiling. Yelling at him if I was not in front of him in three minutes he was going to keep him there until his last breath. It would not have been long either.
    The next day is when he stormed out of the house and slept on the floor in the house we had chosen. I did not want to ask my husband to hold off his vacation for the same girl that caused that fight. She did not have the seniority to get that slot but I was begging my husband to allow her to go. I finally got a compromise by swearing on a bible that sometime after my return from Rome we would go wherever, whenever, and how my husband wanted to take a vacation. In the airport he let the father, her mother, her and her fiancé’ know this was the last time he would accept making a concession for her rear no matter how pretty it was, and went off to work the next two weeks. We had a conference over dinner to talk about the best time for my husband to take a vacation was between the second of January to the 14th of February would be best to not interfere with others, His father said he could use it to make up for working the holiday down weeks. I bought a really soft pair of boots as a peace offering and was going to tell my husband he was to take his time in seven months, that’s when we would normalize our marriage bed, we landed at 7:30 on a Saturday morning in 1987 I saw my husbands packed duffle bag in the back of our new van as he threw our things in for transport home. I asked what his hurry was He did not have to be at work until 3:00 that afternoon.
    He informed me that he was not going back for three weeks we would be in Kansas by three that afternoon on our way to The Black Hills and Yosemite. I then said no we can’t I just flew in over night. He said he would turn the bac seat into a bed for me if I needed sleep. I put my foot down and told him he was not going to take his vacation now, He was going to wait until January His father said just wait until then and my husband told him to shut up he had nothing to say.
    I said I was not going He could just go to work and stop ruining the end of our vacation, He reminded me of what I swore to two weeks before, I said this is holding a gun to my head and everyone in the van, It left at the next exit and my husband told me I had one chance to change my mind, The after Christmas time to him was useless because there would not be enough money to fly someplace nice and he was not going to travel icy roads, as he put it ice skate across country I was crying and got the boots out and said I even bought a peace offering back. He told me to give them to the next chump I caught, He pulled a manila envelope out and handed me a copy of a signed divorce filing. Told me he was returning me in the same condition received from my mother, and handed me 13000.00 in a cashiers check a bus ticket home loaded the luggage I just flew in with on the bus and mad up 200.00 out of his pocket to give me 1000.00 in cash, He father by this time said I am going to knock your block off, I did not raise a man to be such a child about things like this, He raised his fists and advanced and my husbands eyes turned from hazel to steel grey, he told his father the first finger they would need a tombstone where he stood It was either get on the bus home or be left standing there. I heard when my husband got his father home the area judge had a court order requiring my husband to work all hours offered to support my maintenance.
    When my husband looked at his father in the front yard after the order was given my husband hit his father in the chest with his luggage so hard it set him on his rear in the front yard. Several people called and told me the things said that day made them feel two inches tall. I did not stop crying for the next year, my mother was not happy with me, told me I was wrong but I could not feel that my husband was.
    When we went back There was not a reassignment of the guardianship. my mother said no, the judge declared my husbands petition moot and left the court order in place making him work. The court order went off 11 years later when the judge was voted off the bench, The next year my husband decided he was done with second shift and the job he had since coming home in 1985. He was tired of working every day but the six he was allowed after a hole was drilled to the center of his head to remove a tumor, he was supposed to take 60 days but everyone felt that if he could stand he could work After he regained his strength after that surgery my husbands defiance became dangerous. His father said if we ever let up he would just take what he wanted no matter who needed the time, I went to my husband this time with what I told his father was the final time I was going to use it, I promised my husband if he backed off this job bid and let the man with 15 years less seniority have it I would normalize our marriage bed, show him the greatest sex he would ever have. We had a marriage license for 20 years by this time, He told me he did not care about sex from me any longer. he wanted me dead, as far as his seniority was concerned I would not tell him what he was going to use it for from then on, He said he hoped that if I did not step in front of a semi that I liked him sleeping with other women, that if I wanted I could remain a tramp.
    He had found out about an affair. I went and told his father what my husband said. He told me there were some people coming to tell my husband he was removing his name the next morning and when they drew blood from my husband call the ambulance and police, I locked him out as instructed. I was watching when they grabbed on to him. What I saw next was a combat whirlwind. Emergency services were not called by me. The sirens were arriving just as my husband steped off the door telling me as I laid underneath it that my next date was going to be with a hole in the ground if I ever tried getting him hurt again, The porch was covered with every ones blood but my husbands.
    From that day on It was armed force on my husband. escorting him into work when he did not want to. I heard of one man kicked out the side door of his fathers car going 45 miles an hour and my husband kicking several others in the face his father nearly wreaked his car, the man that left the car was in surgery for hours, another thanksgiving another friends shotgun was snatched out of his hand and the butt used on his face. It took a deputy, my husbands foreman being called from home and several security to talk my husband into lowering the weapon as he calls it and going on into work the sixteen hour shift. His work decided that Christmas was the last holiday my husband was working since he had only had six days off in 23 years since his return from the navy. The toll was getting to mean. He arrived home the next morning to the dinner in the warmer took w3hat he wanted and through the rest in the trash told the rest of us to go to Denny’s His father walked out of our bedroom with a bloody nose after my husband kicked him in it saying I have to be back at work in six hours Then MRSA in his spine the next year disabling him after 34 years accrued. His coming home after a heart surgery From MRSA and 3 strokes, He has no feeling below the top of his legs and its not lessened his rage. I was in another affair when he came home unexpectedly walking with a cane. I went out with my AP one last time, and was caught. The other man thought sweeping my husbands cane dropping him to the floor was going to be enough to keep him still My husbands cane shattered his scull The police came in to my husband hitting him screaming who’s pathetic now. when me and his father and mother went in to talk to his therapist. We heard things like marital extortion and fraud. Long term abuse of an adult, Civil rights violations, and conspiracy to make a man an indentured servant through force and fraud. A week latter he walks through the door on a night I was going to a political fund raiser with his mother, father, and his fathers best friend.
    I was instantly put in defensive mode, Trying any thing to get him to negotiate with me his father and others. I was begging and pleading with him to pick a place to meet after the fund raiser. I made the mistake of using were we can sit and see what can be lowed and implemented over a period of a few years.
    The answer was a flat stick it in my ear. I was crying asking what he wanted. he said 31 years of the life stolen from him. He told me he was starting with me As of that night he was no longer paying for the community girlfriends life He was either taking what was due or I was going to wait for his father mother and friend with nothing on no the curb. It was -40 degrees in wind chill.
    I never thought that resentment over no sex, time off, vacations. and my affairs. could get a person to this level of hate. I was crying what did he want when he forced the sex I had not offered. It hurt. it was pure rage and desperation. He handed me the phone and told me to call 911. Don’t clean up for the kit. don’t pick up my shredded cloths he wanted it to go to court. He said lets see what a jury thinks about your refusing me and being a tramp. His fathers friend was hammering on the door and I heard badge and warrant his fathers friend said out of my way crip then tires screeching and a man screaming and a thud. His fathers friend slammed face first into the drive his fathers car was the tires screaming, my husbands mother was sitting next to me while I sobbed out the whole story, she called my husband in and said so what happens now.
    He said get in my way I will kick your, he told his mother that if he was interfered with in any way he would return 42 years of pain with pain Four times since he has lived up to his word. Memorial day twice he was interfered with, his father slapped him for bad manners concerning his best friend going with me to an after dinner drink. his father first slapped my husband for taking the reservation made for me and his friend he earned a return backhand that broke his jaw, He tried calling the club and directed them to refuse entrance to my husband when he arrived When everyone else arrived the door man was getting his face slammed into the street because he pushed my husband several times, then two months latter intimidation with pistols was tried to figure out how to get my husband to stay home this year> The two that held him at bay were told if they did not leave him dead on his porch my husband would make a lot of trouble, 30 minutes latter after leaving him unharmed he walked into the restraint we were talking in and he used his cane to lay the faces of the two armed men open to the jawbone. took the tip off his cane pushed his father back in his seat and told him he had less than 30 seconds before he breathed his last breath, as he was impaled.
    The final act was this spring after the police stopped my husband last year from doing any more harm, His father tried to get him bumped of the cruise, he failed after my husband threatened to own the ship if he was put off. They had offered first class tickets home and a single berth for me, along with the price of his berth. He told them no, they had to get some one else, his father could not get a gun but bought a ball bat up to our room latter Screaming for my husband to come out and get his come up ins. He came in swinging and my husbands cane blocked it then my husband smiling upper cut his father breaking his neck.
    All this started in 1985 trying to keep the peace, I wanted a life of peace love and understanding, instead it turned into a downward spiral of violence, With my husband not negotiating for any of his rights but taking them, leaving broken people in his wake.

  • Chris says:

    mia….sorry for what has become a typical drudgery in married life for you but with Gods help you can rise above the level your husband has tried to put you on! you see, Jesús has a great plan for you and your life that doesnt depend upon anyone but you to fulfill it. Jesús warned us that at times, our worst enemies could just be within the confines of our homes so we need to be aware that although someone took some marriage vows years earlier about loving us and cherishing us for a lifetime, we know that those promises arent not and all too many times infrequently kept but God is different. what he promises to us, he is willing and able to perform! i encourage you to look beyond your husbands view of you to jesus view of you and begin living his abundant life and love he has for you. you can find out how to do that by logging onto knowingjesuspersonally.com or by clicking talk to a mentor above. i pray you would. that you would begin a new day, living a new way and being the happy person jesus wants you to be in him, with, without or despite any people who live around or with you, you can be satisfied in christ!

  • Dino says:

    Dear Callie,

    I am a 48 year old man, an avid bullitin board reader for many years and this is the first time in my life that I have ever replied to an online board. That’s how compelled I am to give you this advice…

    You have made it clear to me and your husband that for many reasons you feel are valid, you have shunned your husband from family events.

    Whatever your husbands faults, you have shunned him. You should consider facing that truth as his reality. Imagine how that feels. To be shunned. To be tricked and left behind like an “ugly step-child” as they say. And then imagine how hard it would be not to act like a petulant child from that intense stinging hurt.

    My advice to you is this… Your husband is either an idealist who expects your supreme loyalty as his spouse which to him means contractual BFF and he will gladly return that loyalty in the spirit of love OR he is a narcissistic goof. Your job is to determine which one and then decide who you are in response to that knowledge.

    If you determine that he’s not a narcissistic goof then you should be a better wife. If you are sure that he is, save yourself!

    But you MUST be sure before you can decide. Ask, listen, watch and learn him without prejudice and then act.

    Good luck dear.

  • Ben says:

    I detest my wife for so many reasons I couldn’t even begin to list them all. So I’ll just tell how I feel with a smattering of facts. We’ve been married for nearly 11 years now. Most of these 11 years have been neutral, with me feeling neither good or bad about her or our relationship. I know now that this Gray feeling of not loving or dis-loving her isn’t contusive, but it is the reality. She neither did anything good enough to me or for me to warrant my feeling Love for her, nor anyone this wrong enough for me to pull back. I often wonder, why would I have chosen to marry someone in which I felt no Love for. I can surmise it’s my emotional stunted behavior that allowed me to ask for her hand. Perhaps most wont be able to comprehend since I have Asperger’s, but I saw marriage as a logical progression of life, akin to a business agreement.

    During the interim of our marriage we’ve added 2 children into this equation, an affair on her end and a three fold retaliatory affair oh my behalf. I’ve expressed animosity to my spouse, resentment, hatred, and longing to be with someone else who wouldn’t betray me. Alas, I stay with her not only for our children, but for the cost of Children. I’ve made her fully aware once our children turn 18 we will be parting ways. All that being said she still desires me, and wants to do anything and everything she possibly can to convince me to stay. Yet,everyday I dream of a life with our her; to be free of her will, to be responsible for my own dreams and happiness. Nature, Red in Tooth and Claw

  • Callie says:

    It was not wanting vacations , holidays and time off that was the problem with my husband. It wasn’t that he did not want vacations with me and a home life. It was when he came back from the military he was willing to run over people with less seniority to have what he wanted and he did not like his life subjected to social and political positions.
    And it seemed every holiday, vacation, weekend, job or shift change my husband wanted was going to cause imposable difficulties for some one else. It would then fall on my head to get him to work the holiday or vacation, or back of the new shift and position he wanted. And guess whos head the axe feel on for thirty one years, when a promise was made and then broken again, Mine, The out country vacation in 2009 his father wanted me to get my husband to back off the 9th such vacation in the last 27 years, we had kept my husband from going the other eight since 1987 by promising he would be able to go the next one without a word from me. To please let younger seniority have a chance at the group vacation rates, I 2009 I was not able to get him to accept any promise. he would not back off to let a very young couple go on the vacation, He wanted to go on this trip, He got us to the airport. Got into his computer case to get the boarding passes out and found his was gone. I had let his father get his out and turned back in for the cash, The scene in the middle of the airport bought the sheriffs department an TSA in on the argument after he screamed me to the floor and threw his father across the concourse when he told him to just go to work and shut up. He had told me the last time on the trip to France it was the last time he was paying my way and him going to work. This time he said that’s ok I could go but it was going to be without money and he took it out of my purse. They even had to beg my husband to let me have 800 out of the 6000 I was going to originally take. That trip was not any fun at all. I had to beg for some money from his father. I told his father I did not think it would be paid back if my husband had a say.
    When we got back that time he did not meet us. when I woke him up he told me we had to find our own way the 60 miles home. When I got home he refused to help unload my luggage. and I was really strapped because he was so angry we had not let him go but told him he had to work again, The next time in 2012 he was in rehab and before we left we went to see him after the heart surgery and spinal fusion 2 years before because MRSA cause his spinal cord to be crushed. He started talking that he would not be working this years vacation he was going, his father said we did not need a cripple slowing us down. I saw the rage in my husbands face as he picked up a bed pan and hit his father square in the face with it. It was so hard to explain the lie about how his father walked into the edge of a door. This year things became even worse after the three years before my husband first forced me into sex. then he made it a rule under our roof if I was invited someplace so was he. and this time he kept the Passes under his lock and key. a heavy safety deposit box which only he could access. Nobody went this time after my husband hit his father so hard it broke his neck.
    I just never felt so helpless in my life. an angry family on one side and a totally defiant husband on the other and this time it was his way or hit the bricks. This year has been one that was nothing but anger.
    I realize we did not treat my husband right, but so many things came into consideration. My husbands needs just never seemed to meet the same bar. I cry a lot now. Cooperation for anything is none existent. I spent for month begging him to let me make up the vacation this spring by allowing me to go on a river cruise to new Orleans. He again said not unless he was coming to I told him he could just meet us there and we could do something for a few days before coming back, he would not let me have the funds unless he was getting the same consideration as everyone else and again its his way or the highway.

  • Dalilah says:

    My husband and I have been married for 15 years. We married young (I was 22 and he, 25). In the beginning, I had plans of how I wanted our life to be but he went against every idea that I had to create a foundation, communication & traditions for our family. Fast forward 15 years later, there have been horrible things said during arguments, depression, attacks on character, etc… We can’t even go to church together without arguing (in church). I just want out but cannot leave due to financial reasons. He has basically given up on the relationship. He thinks it’s okay to put our daughter before me and just act as if I don’t exist. I really want to be done with this marriage and I don’t know what to do. He is so difficult that he has drained me of my happiness. I don’t know if I know how to be happy anymore. I have no friends and my family thinks just because I’m not physically abused and he’s not cheating, that he’s a good man and I should hang in there. In other words, I have no support. I sometimes feel like it would be better if I just die. I hate my life and really want out.

  • Mia says:

    I feel alone in this marriage. We’ve been married for 23 years and have 4 children. He makes snide comments about my cooking – “What’s for supper? Something processed, probably.” I look in the refrigerator at the leftovers… homemade chicken chili, homemade lasagna, homemade chicken-pot-pie, … yet they are leftovers. His comment to me, “Oh just throw something together. It’s what you always do. You don’t care what it tastes like as long as you cook something. Just fill the hole…don’t worry about the taste.” I am up by 6 making a full breakfast – meat, eggs, some sort of starch – variety is limited when food choices are limited. I wake everyone else up. He gets up, gets dressed, sits and drinks his coffee and eats breakfast while I get myself ready. I leave for work by 7:30 while he gets ready for his job. I come home at 5 and begin supper. He gets home, takes off his work clothes and proceeds to get on the computer or watch tv … is supper ready yet? I put supper on the table. He takes his plate to the tv and watches tv… I am left to clean the kitchen…which I am too tired to do so I leave it for the next day. I sit and tickle his legs and feet during the length of the movie. He gets up goes to bed after the movie. No good night, no love you, no thanks for supper, no hug, no kiss, no nothing. the next day same thing.

  • Madoda Shandu says:

    My wife seems not to trust anyone, she says she can resolve her family issues and does’t need someone, I think she is afraid of gravevine which could arise thereafter since she is entrusted with respoonsibilities by the Church.Something which worries me is that my young daughter said we are not the couple to look up to as an exemplary in her life.

  • Chris says:

    Jenna….sorry for your marital struggles…most likely you may not have had pre-marriage counseling which can be the cause for some problems once two people are then married. my suggestion would be to get with your pastor and ask him for an appointment so that whatever issues need to be addressed can be between you and your husband and have some pastoral guidance and wisdom applied to your married life. if you dont have a pastor please let me know. praying now that jesus peace would come to you both so that you can enjoy your marriage and the child jesus has so graciously given to you both too. blessings!

  • Jenna says:

    We have been married for almost a year, we have a 5 month old daughter together. We’re both good parents to her. I was in nursing school when I found out, it’s something I’ve had to quit. I stay at home. He works for the school district. We have welfare. He used to tell me such sweet,loving things…I miss it. I try loving on him lots bur don’t get much back. He doesn’t seem interested in me sexually. He’s quick to snap at me. We go to bible study together. We’re trying to pray and read more together but honestly even that isn’t very pleasant when we do it together.

  • Sharon says:

    to Lyn oops this finished before I did I pray all of this in JESUS name amen I am praying for you I feel for you no fun when the spouse doesn’t talk keep praying for your husband I am praying with you too

  • Sharon says:

    to Lyn– prayer–father God I pray for Lyn and her husband I pray on what ever is going on with the husband I pray that they can talk soon I pray for this husband open his eyes to see that this is hurting his wife not talking I pray for a miracle in this marriage you created marriages I pray that he will tell Lyn on why he gets upset all the time with her I pray for this husband and continue to be with Lyn I pray for Christians to come along her path to encourage her I pray all of this in

  • Lyn says:

    2days has passed that my husband and i were not talking. It started when he just shuts me off when i explain to him why he was angry with me when all i ask him how can i show him that i love him even when we are far from each other. Since we are in a LDR right now. We had a previous fight before but i always the one who beg and humble down even i dont even know what i have done wrong. But he keeps blaming me fromhim being pissed. I want to save our marriage but i dont know how to approach him anymore since it seems that every thing i tell him upsets him :(

  • Elkay says:

    Brandy, I am very sorry to read about your situation and can quickly see why you feel the way you do. A God-honoring marriage requires a commitment by both parties to self-sacrifice for the well-being of the other and this includes meeting emotional needs. Have you asked yourself which of the 6 causes of emotional distance identified in the accompanying article might be your husband’s primary problem? And as far as specific advice, following items #4 and #7 in the list of suggestions for re-establishing a loving connection with your spouse might be a way to re-ignite his feelings because surely he will begin to notice.

    Having said that, since nothing is impossible with God, He God is the ultimate answer to your marital dilemma. It would be great if you attended church together and maybe also joined a couple’s Bible study class. If that is out of the question, please attend with your children and pray for him daily. You may also want to “converse” privately with one of the mentors that are freely available and can be reached by email by clicking on the “Talk to a Mentor” button near the top right of this page. Meanwhile, trust God to be at work in response to your prayers.

    “Majestic and Heavenly Father, You placed the stars in the heavens and laid the foundation of this earth; nothing is impossible for You and so we come to Your throne of grace to find mercy and help in Brandy’s time of trouble. Lord, You created marriage as a sacred institution for the welfare and happiness of mankind in which man and woman bind together, become one in Your eyes, reflect Your image and serve and worship You. Brandy needs answered prayers for her marriage as only with You at the center can her marriage have the desired joy. So Lord, please re-kindle her marriage and give both of them a great spiritual purpose in life so that they seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness and honor You forever. We ask for this in the powerful name of Jesus. Amen.”

  • Brandy says:

    I am I’m the same boat. My husband seems to have no interest in me or our children. He works hard to provide for us, and comes home, but refuses to open up about his feelings,wants, or issues. I stay home and try my best to have everything in order with the house, our children and his request but nothing seems to satisfy him. I could have the house spotless kids clean, dinner done and ready for him and he still criticizes me and finds fault. I feel as though he doesn’t love me anymore and and doesn’t want to be here. He got drunk the other night and said he was unhappy and has been for awhile. I asked him the next morning if he truly felt that way and he said he never said that. I then asked him if I’m suppose to just ignore what he said and his hurtful put downs and pretend like nothing happened and he said yes. He refuses to talk about the things he says. I feel unloved, alone, unappreciated and so much more. Any advice please?

  • Doris Beck Doris Beck says:

    You are in a very difficult situation and need to get some help. Can you go to a counselor or a pastor or someone to talk too? Maybe attend some NA meetings together? There is so much at stake here…your relationship and also you child’s welfare….don’t give up but don’t do it on your own either.

    Another option is to fill out the ‘Talk to a Mentor’ link on this page and one of our online mentors will walk with you through this situation. http://powertochange.com/discover/talk-to-a-mentor/

  • Doris Beck Doris Beck says:

    It sounds to me like your boyfriend has some deep-rooted issues that are impacting his ability to relate to you. Do you have any idea at all what caused the relationship to get ‘rocky’ as you describe it? Did something happen? Did he do something he feels guilty for? Just some questions to ask. If you have broken up 5 times already this year, there is obviously a lot happening in your lives that is causing conflict and doesn’t bode well for the longevity of your relationship.

    Let me pray for you right now,
    Dear Heavenly Father,
    I lift up Mary to you right now. She recognizes that prayer can change hearts and eagerly desires to see her boyfriend come back home. But most of all Lord, I know that Your desire is that both of them would come to know You, to lay down their lives to You and to allow You to have control of their lives. Help them each to come to that place Lord, that place where you are in fact Lord. Work in their lives and their relationships . Amen

    Mary, I would really encourage you to fill out the ‘Talk to a Mentor’ link on this page and one of our online mentors will walk with you through this situation. http://powertochange.com/discover/talk-to-a-mentor/ They are waiting to hear from you.

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